Avodah Mailing List
Volume 04 : Number 075
Thursday, October 28 1999
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 07:45:01 EDT
From: Kenneth G Miller <email@example.com>
Subject: re: kidra chaysa
Several posters have commented on the difference between slow-cooking
beef bones, and faster-cooking chicken bones, and how this relates to
putting a chulent on the stove immediately before Shabbos begins.
This difference will also affect whether or not a chicken-bone chulent
may be returned to the blech after it has been taken off, since "fully
cooked" is one of the conditions for doing that.
For a discussion of "fully cooked" chicken bones as it relates to this
Chazara issue, those interested can look at Sh'mirat Shabbat K'hilchata
1:18:4, and Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 4:76:1. (Note that in the last
paragraph there, the Igros Moshe comments on what the Sh'mirat Shabbat
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Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 13:46:26 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: EY vs. America
On 27 Oct 99, at 18:59, Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechh wrote:
> One of Mrs. Atwood's posts this morning reminded me of a phenomenon I wish
> to discuss, the incapacity of the average American to make aliya and find
> a societal groupng to his liking.
You shouldn't get me started on this :-)
> To whit: When I graduated Chorev elementary school in 1975, my classmates
> and I, indicative of our varied backgrounds, scattered across the range of
> high schools from "Tichon Ironi Dati"'s to "Yeshivos Ketanos" and
> everyrthing in between (I myself going on to Netiv Meir).
Chorev today is a lot more monolithic than it was twenty years ago.
Part of that may be that there is now a boys' high school (which I
don't think existed in your days), but part of is the polarization that
you discuss in the rest of your post. My older son (who left Chorev
after 7th grade) told me that as recently as ten years ago, there
were boys in the senior class who had beards. Not anymore.
Netiv Meir underwent a real change after R. Aryeh Bina z"l retired.
It also has undergone a difficult upheaval over the past several
years over an unfortunate situation which IMHO was handled quite
> When I returned after two years in NY to Sha'alvim in 1978, Sha'alvim had
> (the Hesder compotent) a student body that also ranged the gamut from Kol
> Torah Yeshiva Ketana alumni to Yeshivot Bnei Akiva alumni and everything
> in between.
I think this was true of Shalavim and KBY but not of most of the
other Hesder Yeshivas - even in 1978 (I was in HaKotel in 1978). I
agree with you that it was the PAI influence that made those
Yeshivas more hospitable to boys from Yeshiva Ktana
backgrounds than the other Hesder Yeshivas were.
> To the best of my understanding, these phenomena no longer occur (it is
> not a coincedence, in retrospect, that these institutions were PAI
Let's say that they rarely occur. But the environment in Shalavim
and KBY was unusual even then. When I was in Gush in 1980,
there was an American oleh who, after doing his army service,
decided one day to up and leave and go learn in Chevron (the
Yeshiva in Yerushalayim - not the city). During the few days that
he remained in Gush to pack his things, he was subjected to much
verbal abuse from his colleagues, who could not understand how
he could be such a "traitor." I spoke with him about it (we were
friends because we davened together in the vasikin minyan - I
became gabbai when he left), and he told me that he had decided
that he wanted to spend his time learning, and that the learning in
a "black" yeshiva was, in his view, on a much more serious and
high level, because the boys there planned to spend the rest of
their lives in learning.
> (BTE, 1978 saw the last influx ofa large number of "Yishuvnikim" to
> Sha'alvim - I was in shiur with many of them. The Yeshiva Ketana types had
> stopped coming one or two years before. 1978 was also the year that Hesder
> went from 12 to 15 mos. I do not know if the two phenomena are related.
They're not. See below.
> B'kitzur, the polarization is horrendous.
Yes, it is.
Whatever the chesronos in
> chinuch in the USA, and they are many (I think schools are no longer
> educational but sociological training grounds), that intense polarization
> which diminishes educational and sociological choice is no way at all
> similar here. Indeed, I have heard local Telzers (about as RW as you can
> imagine) say they could not make aliya because of the extremist education
> thaey would need submit their children to there.
You're right. We made aliya eight years ago, and I have been a
heavy contributor to the tachlis ("practical questions and answers
about aliya") list for the last 6.5 years. Every year there will be a
handful of families on the list whom I would classify as "like us."
Line straddlers. People who in the US fit right into the Charedi
community but who never quite fit in here because of their
educational background, because they're not anti-Zionist enough,
because they read secular books and have radios and/or
televisions in their homes, or simply because they work for a living.
Some of them stay here, many go back.
I'd like to share with you part of a letter that I wrote during a debate
about conformism and pigeonholing (and critical thinking) on tachlis
several months ago. I think Moshe Feldman may have posted it to
this list without saying that I was the writer at the time - if he did
and you have all seen it before, I apologize for the repetition. But I
think it's a good example of the frustrations of an oleh who doesn't
quite fit in:
"As to the critical thinking part, I know that at least [name omitted]
(and I guess [name omitted] now too) are going to disagree with
me, but I find that there is a lot more of a herd mentality here than
there is in the US. Either you're accepted or you're not, you fit in or
you don't, but differences are not tolerated. Differences in thought,
differences in dress, differences in outlook - all of them are not
tolerated here. We have a friend who was told at her daughter's
school acceptance interview that, "we don't want to take girls who
will be leaders and ask questions." I look at that as a lack of
"And if any of you thinks I don't mean you, look at the flyer (at least
the Yerushalmim in the religious neighborhoods got) today for the
annual session during the nine days on Shmirat HaLashon. Look at
what the themes are. Respecting others. Tolerating Others. Adina
went to a lecture last week that was part of a two day seminar on
tolerating others. On loving your neighbors. The Rabbis have
obviously recognized that we have a problem - when will everyone
else? And how come these seminars seem to only be for women?
Do men not need to know about tolerating others and guarding their
tongues? There is so much sinat chinam in this country that it is
no wonder that the Beit HaMikdash hasn't been rebuilt. And IMHO
it starts in the schools and at home where kids are taught to
pigeonhole people into categories based on how they dress and
how they look instead of judging them on how they act and what is
inside them. One of my children tells me that "first impressions are
important," when I try to convince him/her that judging people
based on externals is not a valid criterion. Do any of you regard
that as "critical thinking."
"I don't think the non-Jews in the US are particularly tolerant. But I
do think that at least among themselves, the religious Jews in the
US are MUCH more tolerant of each other (and their different
shades of white, black and gray) than are religious Jews here.
"Two weeks ago, I spent my one night in the States sleeping over
by very close friends of ours. Their two sons are opposites. One is
very studious, would gladly sit hunched over a Gemara 18 hours a
day for as long as someone puts food on the table for him. The
other is also a bright child (I could even say brilliant), but cannot sit
still for long periods of time, and is not cut out for the gruelling
Yeshiva atmosphere that the older brother thrives on.
"This woman has wanted to make aliya for years. At least one of
her siblings lives here, and her husband made aliya as a child but
went back (he still has one brother here that I know about). But she
told me that as much as she always wanted to make aliya, she is
glad now that she didn't. Because she sees now that the religious
society in Israel is so intolerant, that she would have had to
sacrifice one of her sons for the sake of the other. Does anyone
else see something wrong with this picture? Does anyone else see
something wrong with trying to fit square pegs into round holes
because one has to "fit" into a certain group, or because one's
children want to fit into a certain group? "
[Note for Avodah list members - many members of tachlis are not
"(Note - This part is really directed at religious list members,
because they are likely to be much more aware of the issues
among religious Jews than are those who are not religious). I am
NOT talking about absolute halachic standards here - I will assume
for these purposes that there is an absolute halachic standard
which we all accept and abide by. And I am not talking about
religious parents who are upset about their kids becoming non-
religious or vice versa. I am talking about idiosyncracies like the
type of head covering you wear (if any), the length of skirts, the
color of your shirt and so on). [Note to Avodah people - this refers
to outfits which are halachically fine but which would be banned in
the Charedi world as being "rechovi" as someone noted yesterday,
as well as to DL people excluding others because their style of
dress is too reminiscent of the Charedi world]. These were things
we never confronted in the States, and which none of our friends in
the States that I know about has had to confront.
"And that friend was not the only one. I have heard from MANY
other friends in the States (and at least one person who used to be
on this list that returned to the States) that this is precisely the
reason they will not come (or went back).
"It's getting worse for us because our kids are getting older, and
they want to make the choices to belong to one group or the other
that Israeli society seems to demand, and not sit on the fence like
their parents do. Apparently making that choice requires that one
disparage all other groups.
"Our older kids are attempting to hide from their friends that their
parents/siblings are not like they are out of a fear of not being
accepted. What does that say about the depths of the friendships
they have? I have now heard from both of my older kids that "my
friends will look at me differently if they know that my brother wears
a hat/my father wears a hat/my father davens in THAT shul/my
sister goes without socks/my sister wears red shirts/my father
wears colored shirts." Or (about each other) "I don't hate him/her; I
hate what s/he stands for." "I can't be seen with him/her in the
streets - my friends would never look at me the same way again."
"I can't invite my friends to the house when s/he is around." Note
that to a certain extent this is NOT sibling rivalry. My kids claim to
like each other. But they are both upset that their parents did not
pigeonhole them into one of the local categories by either sending
them to Beis Yaakov/Cheder or by moving out to a Yishuv
somewhere and sending them to the local Mamad. They both
seem to agree that we should have made a choice. And we're not
convinced that the same choice would have been right for all of
"To go back to an earlier theme, I don't [call] what my kids are
doing critical thinking. I call it prejudice, bias, whatever else you
want to call it. We - yes we who live here in Israel - judge
Ethiopians and Sphardim by their skin color, Russians by their
accents, and Anglos by the colors of their clothes. That's what
most of our schools and homes teach. All of them are ridiculous
standards - the only difference is that the Anglos have the power to
change theirs (and therefore the pressure to do so) if they choose
to. And in my experience, more people judge other Jews
unfavorably and by externals here (percentage wise - not in
absolute numbers) than in any other Jewish community in the
Yes, it feels normal to be Jewish. But sometimes I feel like we
need a few goyim to make us stick together so that we don't do or
say all the insensitive things that we are thinking about others. So
far, I have only found one place in Israel where everyone is
welcomed with open arms and helped out by those around them.
Unfortunately, it has names like Pediatric Oncology.
I would end this here, because it is already far too long, but I did
promise that I would try to explain what has changed in Israeli
society since RYGB was in Shalavim with bochrim from the Yishuv
and the Yeshiva Ktanas in the late 70's. Several things have
1. Until sometime in the 80's (at least) the dati leumi school
system produced very few mechanchim. As a result, not only were
the older mechanchim European trained, but even most of the
younger mechanchim in most of the dati leumi schools had been
trained in the Charedi system. (RYGB need look no further than his
own Rosh Yeshiva at Shalavim for an example). The dati leumi
world viewed this as a crisis, since many of its best and brightest
were being siphoned off by the charedi world. As a result, there
was a big push in the hesder yeshivas to try to convince boys to go
Today, at least at the high school level and beyond, many or most
of the mechanchim come from the dati leumi system and not from
the Charedi system. Therefore, the DL world does not have the
exposure to the C system that it might have had in the past. And of
course the reverse is (and always was) true - there are virtually no
DL mechanchim in the C system. IMHO this encourages the kids
to see themselves as one or the other.
2. Until 1977, the C school system did not take government
money. That all changed when the Aguda went into the coalition for
the first time and started to take government money. If the chiloni
population was willing to ignore the charedi non-participation in
society up to that point, that attitude changed - and gradually
became more hostile - as the charedi system started taking what
was viewed as more and more government money and, in their
view, giving "nothing" in return. The fact that Charedim have lousy
PR, that many of them look and dress like the shtetl Jews that
Israeli secular society looks down upon, and the political scandals
caused by a dishonest few, did not help matters at all and only
added fuel to the fire. Suddenly, the fact that Charedim don't (and
really that should say SOME Charedim don't, but in the secular
view of the world it's ALL Charedim don't) go to the army started to
3. The older generation that founded the State started to die off,
and the younger generation is that much more removed from
fruhmkeit than their parents are.
In my first job in Israel, I became friends with a Holocaust survivor
who came here as an orphan after the war, and was one of the few
"soldiers" (he was 16 or 17 at the time) to survive the attack of
Gush Etzion. He spent several months in a Jordanian prison, and
is totally secular today. He also speaks Yiddish like a yeshiva
bochur. He told me that in Israel, all public activities have Kosher
food, because there is always someone there who keeps Kosher.
That was 1991. Not true anymore.
If the older generation would at least keep the pretense of Kashrus
by not eating chazir, R"L, the younger generation figures "why
bother." So in my first week of work in Tel Aviv, I found out that
"bassar lavan" is not "white meat chicken" as I thought it was.
(Note - this does not apply to Sphardim, who for the most part are
a generation behind Ashkenazim in abandonning fruhmkeit, and
whose enthrallment with Shas (the political party) may yet stem
All of this has thrown DL into an identity crisis. Are they DL or LD?
Which comes first? How come when the Rabbonim come to
inspect the mess hall, they won't eat in the army kitchen? Is it not
Kosher enough for them? How come some DL's can combine army
with learning in yeshiva, but the Charedim claim it can't be done?
(And I specifically use the army as an example, because it is the
army which has become the focal point of many of the disputes
because of the State's founding fathers' perception of the army as
the melting pot that will overcome the differences among us).
4. Changing economic reality. If Israel was once a poor country
where most of us (except for the ones who were "more equal") lived
at a barely subsistence level, that is no longer the case. Israel has
disparities in income among social classes that are probably
unrivalled anywhere outside the United States. The Charedim tend
to be at the bottom of the income ladder. DL on the other hand is
probably upper middle class or better. In nearly every country in the
world where there are disparities of income, those with lots of
income look down upon those who are poor, and those who are
poor have some bitterness and envy towards those who are
This trend started with the increased accessibility of luxury goods
after the Lebanon War (1982), was accelerated by the economic
stabilization which occurred in the late 1980's, and has accelerated
even more with the economic boom that much of the country
(especially its high tech sector) has enjoyed since 1991. The
repeal of the travel tax in 1992 made overseas travel a common
occurrence among those who could afford it. All of which increased
the divisions even more.
5. As others (RET) have mentioned on this list in the last two
weeks, Hesder is no longer the crown jewel of the DL world as it
was twenty years ago. Fewer boys are going to hesder. This can
be attributed to a number of factors - it takes two years longer than
straight army service, many DL's have cast their lot with trying to fit
into chiloni society and don't want the separation that is
sometimes characteristic of hesder in the army (hesder became
less separate in the army after the 1982 war when the
disproportionate number of hesder casualties resulting from all of
the hesder boys being in the tanks led the army to give hesder a
broader choice of fields), many others have become as cynical and
disillusioned with the constant state of war that we seem to be in
as the chilonim have, and just want to do the army and get it over
with (or not do it, as is the case with some 40-50% of Israelis
today). Some might even argue that item 1 on my list has led to
the downfall of hesder's glory; I can't prove that so I won't argue it,
but I will throw it out as a possibility. Bekitzur, much of the
idealism that characterized DL as late as the mid to late '70's is
All of this means that the boys (and girls) coming out of the army
after non-hesder service look more and more like the chilonim and
less and less like charedim. If the only difference between
charedim and DL was once the mitzva of living in EY (as Adir Zik -
a well-known DL broadcaster on Arutz Sheva - put it so aptly, "we
have 612 mitzvos in common"), this is no longer true. Priorities
tend to be different and emphases tend to be very different. If I can
give one small indicative example, when the DL part of my 99%
Charedi neighborhood chose to set up a youth group, they chose
Bnei Akiva (a "separate" snif), not on ideological grounds, but
because BA would be able to give them more money than the
alternatives (Ezra and Ariel - the latter of which was never even
considered). Many in DL look at the L part as a justification to
compromise on the D part in the form of mixed activities, faster
davening and in a myriad of other forms. And even *within* DL,
those who do compromise look down upon those who don't. From
another letter I posted to tachlis:
"Recently I heard a dati leumi girl, the child of Americans no less,
who is a leader in one of the dati leumi youth groups refer to
another of the *dati leumi* youth groups as "too dosis." (Lest you
think that the infighting is only among the Charedim). The context
of the comment was a discussion of whether the youth groups
ought to be mixed (boys and girls together). The "too dosis" youth
group is not mixed. For those who are not here yet and have not
had the pleasure, the words "dos," "dosis," and "dosim, " are all
derogatory terms for Charedim. In one of my children's schools, the
worst thing you can call someone is a "dos/is." I don't mean to
start a discussion of the pros and cons of a mixed youth group -
only the consistent thread of intolerance to anyone who is not
exactly like me."
6. The atmosphere surrounding the assasination of Yitzchak Rabin
z"l and the events leading up to it. After the assasination, the only
group that did serious soul searching (IMHO) was the DL's. Many
of them concluded that the way to avoid becoming pariahs in
society was to draw closer to the chilonim, and by definition to
further themselves from the Charedim. There was an organization
started shortly after the assasination called "tzav piyus" which put
up outdoor billboards with pictures of a person in a kippa sruga
(knitted yarmulka) next to pictures of chilonim and urged people to
get along. There was not one billboard in which a person with a
black kippa appeared. The mesage was clear. Here's what I wrote
about tzav piyus in another message to tachlis:
"We pulled one of our children out of their (dati leumi but allegedly
non-political) school last year because the child came home one
day in tears and said that there had been a discussion in school
about "tzav piyus." Tzav piyus, for those who are not here yet, was
a campaign started in the aftermath of the Rabin assasination in an
attempt to convince all of us that we have to be unified and stress
what we have in common. Nice idea, huh? Well, yes, except on
that day it seems that someone in the class said that "tzav piyus"
doesn't apply to Charedim, and the my child came home upset that
not only did most of the other children agree, but the teacher
seemed to agree! I told the child that couldn't be and that the child
should go back to the teacher and get the teacher to clarify what
was said. After several days of convincing, I got my child to speak
to the teacher (as you might imagine, it is difficult for a young child
to even attempt to - in effect - reproach a classroom discussion to
the teacher), and the teacher got up in front of the class and
something to the effect of, "last week's discussion was meant to
apply to all groups." Without even a mention of the Charedim who
had been disparaged quite severely (according to my child) the
I should add that lately I have been seeing billboards with a charedi
kid and a chiloni kid, but these are VERY recent (like the last
month or two) and I have no idea who is behind them and what
activities they are running other than the billboards.
7. Charedi society's increasing insularity as a result of the above.
Quite simply, Charedi society has turned more and more inward
and distrusts all those who are not exactly like it. Try getting your
kid into a Beis Yaakov high school if you are an American or a baal
tshuva. From yet another tachlis post:
> I know someone who had to get a major posek to
> intervene to allow his daughters to go to one school despite the
> fact that his son went to a school that wasn't quite the same
> hashkafa - and the daughters were going to ELEMENTARY
> The girls' school didn't want to take them.
> Chanoch lanaar al pi darco? Only when each child has the same
I apologize for the length of this post (I guess I will now find out if
Avodah has a line limit :-); this is a topic I could go on about for
days. But the bottom line is that RYGB is 100% correct - the
situation in EY is bad and getting worse, and until we find a way to
resolve it, we don't deserve to have Mashiach come. It may be
heading towards this in the US as well, R"L, but you're nowhere
near as far along as we are.
P.S. Because I know someone is going to raise it.... I am NOT
trying to discourage anyone from making aliya. Aderaba, I hold it is
a mitzva to be here and that Israel is where it is happening, and is
the only place where it is happening for Jews. I wrote this message
to try to explain the phenomena that RYGB has observed, and to
tell anyone who is a potential oleh out there that they should come
with their eyes open and with realistic expectations.
Carl M. Sherer, Adv.
Silber, Schottenfels, Gerber & Sherer
Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.
Thank you very much.
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Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 14:05:26 +0200 (IST)
From: Eli Turkel <email@example.com>
B'kitzur, the polarization is horrendous. Whatever the chesronos in
chinuch in the USA, and they are many (I think schools are no longer
educational but sociological training grounds), that intense polarization
which diminishes educational and sociological choice is no way at all
similar here. Indeed, I have heard local Telzers (about as RW as you can
imagine) say they could not make aliya because of the extremist education
they would need submit their children to there
The Telsher Hashkafa would be considered LW in EY.
Why are there such extremes in EY, both in Kedusha
and, leHavdil, in Tumah? >>
These are questions of attitude.
As I pointed out several times Rav Schach in his published letters
and derashot attacks American charedim for not being "extremist"
enough (that is not his terminology) He complains that they are
too influenced by American society and not truly Jewish.
Thus, while most of us view EY as being too extremist others
view American Orthodoxy as being too soft.
Go to top.
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 08:11:01 EDT
Subject: Re: Ortho activists?
In a message dated 10/27/99 2:46:32 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< since this did tickle my funny bone for reasons those few of you i actually
know will appreciate i'll note that R. reisman's "young activist" might have
been even less gruntled with orthos if he had had a any real clue, and
"involvement" may lead one to different actions than he ,or perhaps even r.
reisman, might expect. >>
What do you mean by that?
Go to top.
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 08:17:40 EDT
Subject: Re: Nuclear Proliferation -- The Torah view
In a message dated 10/28/99 2:14:51 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
Finally, I think that, at least for issues of wide scope such as nuclear
proliferation, there is an important hashkafik point that Micha pointed
towards but didn't reach. We believe that much of what happens to the
nations is intertwined with, and in fact dependent on, the status of
k'lal Yisrael. This imples, to me, that the best way to assure that
nuclear weapons are never used again is through Torah and mitzvos.
Surely a world in which we uphold HaShem's Torah will not merit
destruction, but rather will merit bracha.
Daniel M. Israel >>
Perhaps I shouldn't have used nuclear proliferation as my example in raising
this issue (even though I believe that our hishtadlut in any area can't be
limited to saying we should just do mitzvot and hashem will take care of the
rest). How about we use managed care (everyone's favorite whipping boy these
days) What is the tora's view on resource allocation etc.... My point was
that even if we don't spend a lot of time on these issues because of
constraints mentioned by other posters, we run the danger of klal
yisroel(RW,Lw et al. thinking that the tora doesn't speak to these issues.
Go to top.
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 08:18:46 EDT
Subject: Re: what else
In a message dated 10/27/99 3:05:29 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< But for all our advances in tzeni'ut in dress, I find that our standards
of tzeni'ut have declined far more in other areas. As the community as
a whole has become more affluent economically, especially in the US,
many of us have lost the sense of proportion and modesty that our
grandparents had about material possessions. This can be seen in
individual families, in many frum neighborhoods, as well as in
sub-groups within many yeshivos. No doubt some will say that having a
pool in your backyard is simply motivated by a desire to avoid mixed
swimming; but I am not convinced. One can see yeshiva bahurim parading
around in Armani suits and $100 ties. The exorbitantly priced
human-hair sheitlach mock the laws of tzeni'ut AND the laws of kisui
rosh. The sportscars, fancy vacations, mansion-like homes -- all of
these signify to me a lack of tzeni'ut that concerns more than hemlines.
And, as I say, I find these problems to affect the entire spectrum of
American Orthodoxy. >>
What is even more disturbing is the idea that certain of these practices are
now considered de rigeur. At lunch on Shabbos a few months ago, I was
informed that "of course you need to have a room for your live in, because
you can't do without it." A live in! Oy vey, I am glad my grandmother never
heard such talk! The assumptions Frumk Jews make, and this certainly crosses
ideological lines, about the minimum necessary requirements for comfortable
living have gone totally off the scale. And I most definitely agree that this
constitutes a different but just as insidious violation of Tznius.
Go to top.
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 08:47:19 -0400
Subject: EY vs. America
>>The Telsher Hashkafa would be considered LW in EY. Why are there such extremes
in EY, both in Kedusha and, leHavdil, in Tumah?
FWIW, one of the old Litvisher rabbonim in Hartford was a Mirrer stuednet (came
to teh USA via Shanghai)
He once remarked that the places of the biggest Torah (I think he meant Mir,
Poland) also housed the biggest Apikorsim (IOW communist Jews.)
Also, NYC has been famous/infamous both as a makom Torah and Yiddishketi as well
as being Fun City. IOW, some communities attract extremes form both sides.
Perhaps the nature of the struggle between "Ra" and "Tov" creates the need for a
balancing influence from the other side of the struggle...
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Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 08:48:53 -0400
Subject: Anonymity of RW - Humor Alert
This whole RW being anonymous is really annoying!
I've been RW all my life, and I do not consider myself anonymous!
(By RW of course I refer to my initials - Rich Wolpoe <smile>)
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Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 09:02:20 -0400
Subject: Rashi -Bereshis 18:4 (addition)
Question: Isn't Lot's Imposition to bring the Mal'ochim inside based upon his
being in Sodom? IOW due to his concern for "what will the nighbor's think?" he
felt compelled to host them out-of-sight. However, had Lot been in a different
mileu, wouldn't he have emulated Avrohom?
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Rashi -Bereshis 18:4 (addition)
Author: <firstname.lastname@example.org> at tcpgate
Date: 10/28/1999 7:12 AM
"Hot off the press" directly from Rav Bonchek author of "What's Bothering
I'd like to add to what | wrote you. I said the Torah is
stressing that Abraham didn't impoose himself on them by forcing them to
enter his house or come under his wooden lean-to. Support for this can be
found later. Lot's hachnasas orchim is similar to - but different from- that
of Abraham's. The Torah places many aspects of Lot's behavior in contrast to
Abraham's. In this point as well we see the contrast - see ch. 19: 8. There
Lot pleads to leave the men alone "for they have come under the shelter of
my roof." This phrase is in contrast to Abraham's serving them under the
tree. See how Lot had imposed upon them to come into his house and that's
where all the trouble began. By imposing himself on them, instead of feeding
them outside he inconvenienced them, and this lead to their troubles. Uncle
Abe fed them under the tree so they could eat "and then go. "
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Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 09:24:51 -0400
From: Sholem Berger <email@example.com>
Subject: Triage and public-policy matters
The arguments that have been advanced against the O community involving itself in public
affairs (nuclear nonproliferation, the environment, etc.) are less than satisfying:
1. Non-Jews are taking care of it.
Look around: they aren't! If (with regard to this matter) we see the world as Jew/non-Jew, and every other group X sees the world as X/Non-X, then we're left with a grand total of no one to concentrate on common issues.
2. (Re: nuclear weapons) God wouldn't let us blow ourselves up.
True, but when you get into the issue of what God does or doesn't "let us" do, things get tricky. If we apply this reasoning to other issues: What about Bhopal, or Chernobyl? Were those "allowed" to happen (Union Carbide as divine messenger), or can they be ascribed to problems which people can fix?
3. Triage: there's not enough money or time.
Again, true, but in a limited way. Clearly not everyone in the Jewish community is going flat-out, 120% in the productive pursuit of solutions to uniquely Jewish problems. I imagine that there are some who find their avodas hashem more activated in contemplation of wider societal issues. Why not give them a little support? It wouldn't take much, just an acknowledgement by some powers that be that these things do matter and they do affect us.
Perhaps in those communities which allow their young people to train for secular professions, the point can be made that there are those jobs which provide parnose and go some way towards alleviating societal concerns. Medicine used to be seen this way, but there's also law, politics, the natural sciences, even (rakhmone litslon) academia...
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